A Different Kind of Pie as a DIfferent Kind of Pie
Makes two cornatti
THREE days ahead: Make yourself some really good pizza dough
TWO days ahead: Invite some friends
ONE day ahead: Make yourself a really delicious lamb stew
ZERO day: Make yourself some really yummy mashed potatoes
I’m sure Stefan has a really good dough recipe. The secret for me is the slow rise. I make my dough a few days ahead, give it one rise, then stash it in the fridge until I need it. Pull it out about an hour before you want to make the pizza so it comes to room temperature.
You have plenty of friends; you shouldn’t need directions for this step.
This is what I remember putting in the Lamb Stew:1/2 kilo ground lamb 1 medium onion, diced 2 carrots, diced 1 handful of wild mushrooms (I used black trumpets harvested from Joan’s place) 1 handful of grape tomatoes 2 garlic cloves, chopped Zest from half a orange, peeled with a vegetable peeler (not grated) 1 fresh bay leaf, from my window Some fennel seed Some sprigs of fresh thyme, also from my window 1/2 bottle of white wine 1/2 glass of sweet vermouth Splash or two of vinegar to adjust the sweetness enough flour slurry to thicken the gravy Salt and pepper to taste
(This should be enough filling for two pies.)
Here’s how I make my mashed potatoes:
Use two large Russet potatoes. Peel and cut them into large, even chunks. Cover them with water, add a bay leaf and a little salt and bring to a boil until tender. Press the potatoes through a ricer into a bowl. Add enough heated cream to the potatoes to get a fluffy consistency that can be piped (remember that it will stiffen a bit as it cools). Salt and pepper to taste. Let it cool a bit before spooning into a piping bag.
To assemble the cornatto:
Heat the hell out of your oven. Heat up your stew also. Bring the pizza dough to room temperature.
Press and pull the dough into a circle. Transfer to pizza peel. (I learned this the hard way. It’s really best to assemble the cornatto on a peel well-dusted with semolina, NOT the counter. It’s really hard to get it on a peel after it’s put together.)
Sprinkle the circle with grated Parmesan or other hard cheese (Pecorino Romano would be appropriate). Then put the lamb stew down the middle and pinch one end together to make a cornucopia-shaped pizza. Spoon a bit more lamb on the open flat of the pie.
Now pipe dollops of mashed potato all over the open area and transfer to the super hot oven. Turn once or twice during the baking. The tricky part is browning the potatoes without burning the crust.
Repeat to make the second cornatto. I can only make one pie at a time in my oven.
HERE are some pictures: